I want to write an algorithm to calculate the number of syllables in a word. This process is an automated one that will be run on an entire dictionary so manually counting the number of breaths, chin movements etc. as mentioned in other questions won't scale. I also don't want to visit a website like howmanysyllables to input the word because I don't want to depend on a non free and open source system.
To get around tricky words like "Wednesday", I thought it would be easier to use the IPA transcription of words instead. I have the IPA transcription for all words in my downloaded dictionary but to my dismay I discovered there seems to be no surefire method of counting syllables.
Consider these two transcriptions to IPA:
pronunciation: pɹəˌnʌn.siˈeɪ.ʃən conscientious: ˌkɒnʃiˈɛnʃəs
For the IPA word "pronunciation", lower apostrophe, upper apostrophe and period can be used to tell where the syllable breaks occur. The IPA word for "conscientious" only seems to strictly indicate a single break. You could say the "ʃ" indicates a syllable break but I worry this isn't the case for all words.
Is there a list of rules that define syllable breaks in US English for IPA transcriptions?